(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Older apparel wholesalers wistfully remember the days when retailers would come to their trade show booths and leave behind huge stacks of orders. But the practice has waned, with many retailers buying “by committee” back at headquarters after long and deliberate consultations and others simply choosing to buy closer to their actual selling season.
A novel new program at CURVExpo, the lingerie trade show organization, seeks to encourage buyers to place orders during their shows, as well as patronize new brands and exhibitors. BODY publisher Nick Monjo asked CURVExpo CEO Pierre Nicolas Hurstel to explain the innovation.
MONJO: When did you put the New Account Program into place. Was it first used for the August Curve in both New York and Las Vegas?
HURSTEL: Yes, this past August 2013 was the first New Account Program, offering such great prizes. Yes, the program covers both shows. New York and Las Vegas provide equal opportunity for our buyers and brands.
MONJO: Please describe the program in detail.
HURSTEL: LOVE a new brand? OPEN an account. WIN a trip to Paris! This is our new Paris Sweepstakes program that encourages retailers to open new accounts with new or well established brands. While shopping the show retailers were motivated to find new brands for their shops and place a first time order. Once the order is placed, the brand will give said retailer an entry form which would include the brand name and retailer information. Entry forms were completed and dropped at [the] registration desk on the way out of the show. Buyers had the opportunity to enter the program at each show. Winners were picked by the CURVExpo team shortly after the shows.
We had ten prizes this season: the grand prize being two trips to Paris to visit the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris Porte de Versailles this January 25, 26 & 27, 2014. Eight other prizes include: two free trend consultations with Promostyl aimed to offer added value to store owners for their merchandising (who presented the popular trends workshop at CURVENY New York); two Travel Smith gift cards for $150 each; three $100 AmEx gift cards; and finally a free, luxury, 4-piece luggage set.
MONJO: Who won the big prize in the program? Any other winners you would like to name as well?
HURSTEL: Our two grand prize winners came from a boutique in Burlington, VT: Aristelle who attended CURVENY New York. And from CURVENV Las Vegas, Posh Lingerie (Tigard, OR) was the lucky grand prize winner! Other winners included: Celladora Resort Wear (Kelowna, BC), A Brief Affair (Great Neck, NY), Hope Chest for Breast Cancer (Canyon Lake, CA), La-De-Da (Webster, TX), Specchio (Dominican Republic), Christina’s Lingerie (Boulder, CO), PJzzzz (S. Surrey, BC), and last but certainly not least: Fifi Boudoir (Encinitas, CA).
MONJO: Describe their reaction (big winners) and what they will be enjoying in Paris?
HURSTEL: The reactions were equally unforgettable from each winner. Cheering, laughing and the chanting of French phrases were heard from each winner. It was great to deliver such exciting news and we are so happy that the winners are this excited. Each winner will enjoy a round-trip ticket and two nights stay at a hotel while visiting the Salon International de la Lingerie presented by Eurovet in Paris Porte de Versailles this January 2014. This is such a wonderful show and beautiful event and hopefully the winners will find time to also enjoy the sights of Paris and all the city has offer.
MONJO: Who did they place the “winning orders” with at the shows?
HURSTEL: The winning orders were placed with Fortnight Lingerie and Tia Lyn.
MONJO: What does this program mean for new brands at the show?
HURSTEL: This is a great opportunity for new brands to get out there! Our program encourages retailers to place orders with the brands they don’t have in their store. Not only does it encourage orders for the new brands, it also inspires contact and interaction with the buyers. This networking opportunity is important for a brand as it gets the name out into the industry and attracts many other buyers.
MONJO: What does this mean for retailers placing orders at the show with New Brands?
HURSTEL: As this is a great program, beneficial to brands, it is mutually beneficial to the retailer. By placing an order directly on-site it enhances the show efficiency experience and the after-show usual hours of follow-up can be used for strategic planning. By adding a new brand to their store a retailer adds diversity which will draw in more perspective clients thus, creating more business. It also gives a competitive edge to the retailer’s store in comparison to their competition. While every retailer may not win one of the ten prizes, it is a personal win for their store as new lines will attract new and more business. There are so many advantages for the brands and retailers alike with our New Account Program.
MONJO: How many of these “forms” did you receive at the show?
HURSTEL: We received hundreds of forms from both Las Vegas and New York. The program was such a success!
MONJO: Are you making any changes to the program for the February shows?
HURSTEL: We will be doing the program again for the February 2014 shows and while the grand prize will remain the same: winners will attend the Salon International de la Lingerie et du Swimwear in Paris show in July 2014, we will have new prizes for the remaining winners.
MONJO: What are your expectations for this program for the upcoming shows?
HURSTEL: We expect to have an even greater turnout. We had such amazing feedback from the program from both brands and buyers. The program inspired the buyers to add a new line to their stores and was great for all the brands. Everyone was excited and hoping to win, we are confident numbers will increase greatly- which is beneficial for everyone at the shows!
MONJO: What else would you like to say about the New Account Program?
HURSTEL: Not only is the New Accounts Program such a great incentive for brands and buyers, it offers all the brands great exposure. Contacts and networking can be just as important in this industry and the New Account Program makes this interaction happen. It has proved to be a fun, exciting and successful program at each show.
MONJO: What other benefits do new exhibitors enjoy at the Curve shows?
HURSTEL: In addition to the New Account Program, new and existing exhibitors benefit from a complimentary year-round marketing platform. CURVExpo provides intense marketing strategies from all social media aspects (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) to our monthly newsletter that is emailed each month to our buyers. This marketing platform is especially beneficial to a new brand that is just launching and in need of some extra PR as all the tools are linked to enhance retailer’s appointment booking which generates 1,000 appointments per shows.
To help the news starting brands we now offer the gallery. This a section on the floor dedicated to the new exhibitors. The gallery contains open booths that allow buyers to see the brands from all angles — it is some of the best exposure right at the center of the show. Further, we highlight all the new exhibitors on the floor plan which stands out to buyers and persuades them to visit the booths.
Last but not least, we have our Trends Seminar at the show presented by Promostyl. This Trends Seminar is directed to the brands and gives them insight to the market: what is “hot”, what the buyers will be looking for the next season and provides extremely accurate projections of what the market is expecting of the brands. This seminar will help the brands to stay on top of the industry and is free to attend during the show.
There are so many more benefits as new exhibitors and we are increasing those every season. We love our new brands and we make sure that buyers will too!
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